Harry Bolick Concert - June 2016
Harry Bolick sings and performs on fiddles and guitar. He will be sharing many tunes and songs unheard since they were collected in manuscript form in Mississippi in the 1930s, along with engaging stories of the history of their collection and sources.
The Mississi fiddling tradition is unique, born of the interplay between blacks, whites and others in the remote farms, plantations and pine-breaks of the distant past. Tunes like Sullivan’s Hollow, Carroll County Blues, Avalon Quickstep, and Nancy Rowland have come down to us from commercial recordings made in the 1920s. But the vast majority of the region’s vernacular fiddle music is lost beyond recovery. That is why, Harry Bolick’s remarkable scholarship is so valuable to those of us who love old time music.
Born in Mississippi, now living in New York, Harry Bolick has studied, performed, recorded and taught the classic fiddle tunes from Mississippi for many years. The University Press of Mississippi has just published his book, co-authored with Stephen T. Austin: Mississippi Fiddle Tunes and Songs of the 1930s that publishes for the first time 320 fiddle tunes collected in 1936 and 1939 by WPA field workers. The book also presents a history of the WPA collecting, photos and bios of many of the source musicians.
Harry teaches fiddle and mandolin weekly in Garrison, NY, and is traveling in the US doing house concerts, workshops, festivals and presentations to share these unique Mississippi fiddle tunes. His latest recording, his eighth, "Tunes from the Book" can be heard at https://harrybolick.bandcamp.com/album/tunes-from-the-book. Also he has just released a three-cd set of the compete 1939 Mississippi fiddle and banjo Library of Congress field recordings for Document Records. A cd of 1950's era field recordings is in the works as well.
Here is Harry's YouTube video about his work and the music.